Rajab is the 7th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is one of the four sacred months mentioned by Allah in the Noble Qur’an 9: 36, where the Almighty says: “Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them…”
The remaining three are: the first month, Muharram; Dhū al-Qa’dah, and Dhu al-Ḥijjah, the 11th and 12th months respectively.
There are however many innovated actions among the Muslims, which are antithetical to the pristine Islam brought by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him). Our guest writer, Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau explained some of them below:
1. Performing Umrah in the month of Rajab
There is no Sahih Hadiths (sound narrations) from the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to suggest any particular virtue in performing Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) in the month of Rajab, no one should single out a specific time for doing an act of worship unless that has been prescribed in Shari’ah, in fact performing Umrah in Rajab was rather denied by Aisha (RA), who said: “The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) never performed Umrah in Rajab.” [al-Bukhari and Muslim]
However, if a person goes for Umrah during Rajab without believing or having the intention that there is any special virtue in that and it just so happens that it is easy for him to travel at that time and perform Umrah, then there is nothing wrong with it, keeping in mind that the only special virtue in performing Umrah as proven from the Sunnah is Umrah in the month of Ramadan, and in the months of Hajj, which are Shawwal, Zul-Qa’adah and Zul-Hijjah.
2. Fasting in the month of Rajab
Some people single out some days of Rajab for Fasting, believing that they are better than others, however again this has no basis in Shari’ah, and Fasting in the month of Rajab has no special virtue proven by any Sahih Hadiths, whether the Fasting is done on certain days of Rajab or the entire Rajab. There is but a Da’if Hadith that makes Fasting in the month of Rajab as Mustahab (recommended).
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Fast some days of the sacred months and not others.” [Abu Dawud – classed as Da’if by al-Albani in Da’if AbiDawud]
3. Fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in Prayer
Another common Bid’ah in regards to Fasting on a particular night in Rajab along with spending the entire night in Prayer, namely the twenty-seventh of Rajab is widely practised but has no Shari’ah basis, rather its taken from a Mawdu’ Hadith.
On the issue of Fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer Shaikh Ibn Uthaimin said: “Fasting on the twenty-seventh of Rajab and spending that night in prayer is a Bid’ah (innovation), and every Bid’ah is a going astray.” [Majmu’ Fatawa Ibn Uthaimin vol. 20, page 440]
4. Celebrating the night of the Isra’ and Mi’raj
Isra’ and Mi’raj (the Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascent into heaven) are indeed two great signs of Allah which point to the greatness of Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) status before our Lord. As Allah honoured Prophet (Peace be upon him) with such a voyage. Allah points out this incident in the Qur’an:
“Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) (above all that (evil) they associate with Him) Who took His slave (Muhammad) for a journey by night from Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem), the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” [Qur’an, 17:1]
However, there is nothing in the Sahih Hadiths to indicate that Isra’ and Mi’raj took place in the month of Rajab or in any other specified month. Everything that has been narrated concerning a specific date for these events cannot be proven to have come from the Prophet (Peace be upon him) according to the Muhaddithin (Scholars of Hadith).
5. Salat al-Ragha’ib
Salat al-Ragha’ib is yet another famous Bid’ah that have been introduced in this month of Rajab. It is apparently done on the night of the first Friday in Rajab, between Maghrib and Isha’i time, and is followed up by Fasting on the first Thursday of Rajab. This Salat itself was first introduced in Bait al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) in 480 AH, and in short has absolutely no report that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) did it, or any of his Companions, or any of the predecessors. This alone is sufficient to prove that it is a reprehensible innovation, and is a complete misguidance.
6. Visiting the Graves
Many people visit Graves specifically in Rajab, with the belief that it brings goodness to those there in and it’s an act of greater reward, but there is absolutely nothing in Shari’ah that recommends such an act. There is no such Hadith that states that doing so does entails any reward better than that entailed by visiting Graves on any other ordinary day. So if one is to visit the Grave habitually in Rajab with the intention to remind oneself of Death, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as his intention is not in compliance to the Bid’ah of visiting the Graves specifically in the Sacred Month of Rajab.
Respected brothers and sisters! Our Lord has given us a perfect way of life, perfect rules and perfect guidance in leading our lives and accordingly worshipping Him the way He commanded us to do so, anything added would be us implying that there is something lacking in Islam, and that it is not complete, and it is well known that this leads to great mischief and evil, and goes against what Allah has said:
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Qur’an, 5:3
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